Taking Care of the Baby

After the battle in Eclipse, Jane shows mercy on Bree and allows the Cullens to take her home as long as they accept full responsibility for her actions.

Jasper Hale

Oh Dear Lord, what have we gotten ourselves into, I thought as the Volturi disappeared into the mist in the distance. I was well aware that Carlisle and the others had obviously dealt with newborns in the past, but to me, this one, Bree, looked particularly wild and volatile and with my own dark and difficult past, I wasn't sure that I would be up to the task of assisting the others to train this little one.

Tension was rolling off Edward in massive waves as I quietly questioned him in my thoughts, asking if Jane had decided how the Cullen's would be punished if we couldn't manage to control our new ward. His face was sombre as he responded to my silent question with a quick nod. I would ask him more about this later but it was clear to me that this was neither the time nor the place.

"Carlisle, Edward do you really think that this is a good idea?" I asked. I should have guessed at the response that I received.

"She is very young, Jasper. I think we will be able to manage to train her effectively," Carlisle answered calmly.

Edward brought a visibly shaken Bella close to him as he came to stand beside our father.

"Her thoughts are clear to me," Edward commented. "She is confused and frightened, as I am sure you are already aware, but she is also intrigued by our lifestyle and wants to understand us and our ways better. If I was in anyway unsure about our abilities to keep her and Bella safe, I would never allow this."

At that point in proceedings, my beautiful, if not excitable, wife skipped to my side and whispered "It will be okay. Jazz, I can see it. It will be difficult but I don't see any mad killing sprees."

"Not yet," I retorted.

"What about Bella? How do you feel about this?" I asked.

Bella squirmed a little but after some thought she said, "I'm fine with it," and with a giggle added, "it will give all of you some practice for when it's my turn and I'll get some much needed insight into what I'm getting myself into."

I thought that this adventure might just put her off the idea of changing and when I caught Edward's eye I realized he felt the same way. He nodded with a small sad smile on his face. My particular gift allowed me to know that emotionally, at least, Bella was more than ready to give up her human life.

With a slightly worried expression, Esme got up from where she had been kneeling next to Bree with one arm wrapped around her and declared, "it's time to go home now. We need to make arrangements for Bree and let the wolves know what is going to happen."

At that Bella's face lost color again, Esme's mention of the wolves had clearly reminded her of Jacob's current injured state. Up until the reminder of him, she had appeared shaken, but was fairly calm emotionally. Suddenly her emotions returned to an almost hysterical state and she demanded that Edward to take her to the border straight away so that she could check on him. Alice left my side then and went over to where Bella was pleading with my brother and took both of her hands.

"Bella, Jake is going to be just fine. Carlisle will go treat him as soon as possible," Alice explained to her in her wind chime voice. This calmed Bella somewhat because she knew that most of the time my pixie of a wife was right. Most of the time.

At that we started heading home with Bree firmly held by Emmett and Carlisle in front. Rose, Esme, and I followed them. Edward and Alice who were holding Bella's hands stayed at the rear.

On the way back to the house, we tried to figure out who would watch over Bree. It was decided that she would spend most of her time with Emmett and me to begin with. This made sense because being the strongest, Emmett would be the best person to restrain young Bree whilst I would be closely monitoring her emotional state and calming her whenever necessary.

Shortly after entering our home, Carlisle left with his medical bag to go tend to Jacob. Alice also left with Bella and several shopping bags, containing clothes that Alice had no doubt bought online which would convince Charlie that the girls had spent the weekend shopping. Edward planned to follow them, clearly not willing to let Bella out of his sight. Before he left, I managed to have a quick conversation with him asking him to keep Bella at her father's home for as long as possible. That would allow us to acclimatise our new addition to the best of our abilities before introducing her to our human family member properly.

Esme and Rose took Bree upstairs to the guest bathroom to allow her to have a bath and wash her hair. I sent some calming waves in her direction in the hope that she could get cleaned up without being overwhelmed by the situation she now found herself in. The ladies allowed her some privacy, but sat outside the bathroom door and began the process of telling her exactly how we lived. The only way that she could hope to survive now would be to give this lifestyle a chance. From the earlier silent conversation between Edward and myself, I had a feeling that if she chose to go her own way there would be hell to pay for breaking our promise to Jane.

From the second floor, Esme called to ask if I could retrieve some of Bella's clothing from the clean laundry basket. It was clear to me that she didn't want to leave Bree alone with Rosalie. Rose had surprised me with her attitude towards this unusual situation. I would have expected her to be angry at Carlisle's decision but instead, she seemed excited by it. Maybe because Bree was so young? I managed to find some jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt that belonged to Bella, my wife's fashion fetish allowing me to know that these were an acceptable choice. I took them upstairs to the girls before I joined Emmett in the living room.

"This is gonna be a blast," boomed Emmett.

I raised my eyebrow and asked, "do you really think so?"

"Of course," he said with a huge grin on his face. "Bring it on!"

I laughed at his enthusiasm and decided that it would probably be best if Em and I took Bree on a Cullen style hunting trip as soon as possible. Who knew when she had last fed and it would help to keep her calm if she had some blood in her body, even if it was just that of some deer, before Bella returned to the house. Hopefully Edward, who would now be stuck to her like glue, would convince her to stay at the tiny home she shared with her father for tonight at the very least. Unfair as it was to Bella it would be not be helpful to have her here as often as she was normally until we had more of a chance to prepare Bree.

A short time later Rosalie and Esme brought a completely different girl into the living room than the wild eyed urchin I saw being led upstairs. Although her eyes were still bright red, she was clean and her hair hung loosely at her shoulders. She was also no longer shaking violently and I could sense that although she was still frightened, she was also a little shy.

"Hello Bree," I said, "I hope you are feeling a little better now. My name is Jasper and this is my brother Emmett." I pointed to the beaming fool who was sprawled on the sofa watching some ball game on the television.

"Hello," she replied in a timid voice. "Thank you for not killing me back there." Although I could tell that she partly meant this as a joke, she was being completely sincere.

I laughed lightly and told her, equally sincerely, "you're very welcome, ma'am, and as long as you behave yourself you will always have a home here. I am sure Esme and Rose have explained this to you?"

"Yes, Jasper," Esme replied. "We have explained the principals by which our family live to Bree, and she is prepared to, at least, attempt to follow them. It would appear that she did not enjoy the chaos that her new life previously brought. We will have to speak to her further to allow us to understand better what she has been through soon though."

I nodded quickly in agreement. Then I sensed pain. Not only pain but hunger. I looked over at Bree who was now flinching whilst clutching her throat.

"The thirst, it hurts," Bree almost cried.

Taking that as my cue, I sent a wave of calm to the child before going to stand beside her.

"If you are ready, my brother and I will take you now and introduce you to your new diet?" I enquired.

Again she replied with a soft, "yes please." It was so unlike the wild girl in the clearing. She was very nervous about this. I had a feeling that a lot of re-assurance would be necessary.

"You ready, Em"? I asked.

"Sure thing," he smiled with an excited expression on his face. "Like I said earlier... Bring it on!"

A/N This is the beginning of my 1st story. I would be grateful for any reviews so I can see if it will be worthwhile continuing. Please be gentle though!

Much love and thanks to Jayeliwood. Without her help and encouragement I would never have had the courage to give this a go! You are a wonderful person!